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Fight Archives: Kazushi Sakuraba snaps Renzo Gracie’s elbow with a nasty kimura

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Here’s how Kazushi Sakuraba earned the respect of Renzo Gracie and the entire clan.

Saku vs. Renzo

It’s Christmas Eve, and whether or not you celebrate this festive holiday, here’s a little treat for all of you.

If you’ve followed this sport long enough, you’re definitely acquainted with the eminence of the Kazushi Sakuraba. He is known for many things: the first Japanese champion in UFC history, bright orange face masks, knee pads that stretch up to his upper thigh.

But for all of us fans, he will always be the one and only Gracie Hunter.

He went through the family tree like a shooting gallery, beginning with Royler in ‘99. After finishing Helio’s fifth son via controversial kimura, he moved on to little brother Royce six months later. Saku finished the UFC 1 legend via third-round TKO, earning him more notoriety within the Jiu-Jitsu royal family.

The next Gracie representative to step up was Renzo. Unlike his two cousins, he didn’t employ the stomp and clinch strategy to bring the action down to his world. Credit to him, he showed more fluidity in his striking and was actually a threat on the feet.

Sakuraba respected that. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t go hunting against Renzo. He fought aggressively for the bigger part of the first round and he didn’t back down during those few moments when the fight went to the mat.

Fast forward to the final moments of the second round. Renzo’s got back control standing up. Theoretically, this puts him at a hefty advantage, but let’s not forget whom he’s dealing with here.

Sakuraba already had kimura grips during the tie-up, and never let go even when he was brought down to turtle position. And as soon as the action went back up, he twisted Renzo’s shoulder and elbow towards the opposite direction with all his weight and force behind it.

I’d say that arm was already broken even before it ended up on the mat looking like a chewed up pretzel.

And like always, we get to relive it all over again thanks to the internet.

By the way, before I forget,

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal